- A coalition of CEOs announced Oct. 5 the formation of a fellowship program aimed at advancing racial equity thought public policy. Nearly 250 fellows will represent more than 100 CEO Action for Racial Equality members.
- The fellows will work to address social injustice by developing and promoting public policies and corporate engagement, according to the announcement. Four key areas of societal well-being are highlighted in the program: economic empowerment, education, healthcare and public safety.
- Roy Weathers, PwC vice chair of societal engagement and policy solutions will serve as CEO of the CEO Action for Racial Equity governing committee. Pia Flanagan, chief of staff to the CEO at MassMutual, will serve as the COO, and Roz Brooks, PwC US' policy leader will serve as the policy lead in addition to her role at the firm. The executives will handle day-to-day leadership, strategy and operations, according to CEO Action. The two-year fellowship "has arrived at a crucial time and I am excited to continue playing an active role in creating equity in the workplace and community," Weathers said in an Oct. 5 LinkedIn post.
A 2020 Edelman report found that the majority of employees (71%) surveyed said their employer is the most trusted institution in the response to racial injustice, and 55% expect CEOs to be actively anti-racist.
PwC U.S. Chair and Senior Partner Tim Ryan co-founded CEO Action in 2016 and serves as its steering committee chair. The collective is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace, according to PwC. "The business community has a unique but critical role to play in being a part of the solution," Ryan told HR Dive in a previous interview. The more than 1,300 coalition members of CEO Action are accelerating "change inside our own walls and in our society," he said. In August, PwC aimed to become more transparent by releasing by publicly releasing its D&I data and strategy report for the first time.
The launch of the racial equity fellowship is one of six commitments to address racism in society that Ryan announced in June. It brings together "full-time employees from CEO Action member organizations who will dedicate 100% of their time to affecting policy solutions on race and equity," he previously told HR Dive.
The fellows selected will focus on advancing equity within communities as the company leaders in CEO Action focus on creating more inclusive workplaces, according to the coalition.